'I can't rely on Steven Gerrard for 70 games': Brendan Rodgers calls on Liverpool players to take responsibility

Premier League side were beaten by League One Oldham in the FA Cup

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes it is about time someone other than captain Steven Gerrard has to lead the team out of trouble.

The England midfielder came off the bench yesterday just before the hour with his side trailing 3-1 at Oldham and although it prompted an improved display it could not stop a shock FA Cup fourth-round exit.

Rodgers rested the 32-year-old, who has played every minute of every league game this season, along with the likes of Jamie Carragher and Stewart Downing but found their replacements wanting.

"I can't rely on Steven for 70 games. He has been absolutely incredible," said the Reds boss.

"He shouldn't be expected to come and win games on his own.

"He came on and gave a real impetus to the team and his quality was there to be seen.

"Steven Gerrard and Stewart Downing come on and it is a different game and for 35 minutes we were terrific but it is too late then because we are 3-1 down then.

"It wasn't good enough."

Rodgers criticised his younger players - only Martin Skrtel, Luis Suarez and goalkeeper Brad Jones were aged over 23 - for lacking the appetite for a fight against the npower League One side.

Latics front man Matt Smith scored either side of Suarez's 21st goal of the season before Reece Wabara made it 3-1 just after half-time, leaving Liverpool summer signing Joe Allen's first goal for the club little more than a consolation.

"The big guy Smith did well but it is not as if we have not played against that type before," Rodgers added.

"I was disappointed with the young players, I've got to be honest.

"It is not just about playing for Liverpool, you have to be competitive and be part of a group that is going to challenge for trophies.

"It is not enough to play for Liverpool and get up for the Arsenal and Manchester City games (later this week) because if we are going to win trophies you need to be able to come to places like Oldham and win and we weren't good enough for that.

"These games are a different type of football (to the Premier League), you have to roll your sleeves up be strong and aggressive and unfortunately for us there were too many who were.

"It is great to put young players in but you have to have personality and the young players disappointed."

Asked whether younger players were too cocooned in a Premier League environment Rodgers replied: "They will never get comfortable, you can't be comfortable at Liverpool and they are never allowed to be."

Rodgers rejected suggestions his team selection, making six changes and leaving Gerrard on the bench, was an error.

"It is not complacency. We haven't enough depth," he added.

"We have three tough games this week and we put out a team we thought could get the result.

"This is a trophy we really put our focus on to hopefully go far in and it is a competition we are out of so we are all disappointed."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there